By Maynard & Sumner, LLC of Maynard & Sumner, LLC posted in Expungement on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.
In order to be eligible for an expungement in the State of New Jersey, an individual must satisfy a wide spectrum of criteria. Bottom line, the Legislature does not want any individual who has a lengthy criminal history to be eligible to expunge his criminal record. Due to the complicated nature of the New Jersey expungement law, many questions arise when determining who is eligible and who is not. For instance, the NJ Supreme Court was asked to determine whether individuals who have been adjudicated delinquent for an offense that would constitute a crime if committed as an adult are eligible to expunge an indictable offense (i.e. felony offense). The Supreme Court Justices determined that a juvenile delinquency cannot encumber a person’s ability to obtain an expungement of an indictable offense as an adult.
Individuals are entitled to expunge one indictable offense in NJ, permitting that they have not been convicted of more than three disorderly persons offenses and have never obtained a dismissal pursuant to successful completion of Pretrial Intervention (PTI). Until this recent court decision, it was an open question with a juvenile delinquency that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult could also bar an individual was an expungement of an indictable offense.
In the Matter of the Expungement Application of D.J.B., decided January 16, 2014, the courts states, “Based on its language and legislative history, N.J.S.A. 2C:52-4.1(a) applies only to the expungement of juvenile adjudications and does not transform a juvenile adjudication into a “crime: that would bar a later attempt to expunge an adult conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2.” Therefore, a juvenile criminal history is not a bar to expunging an indictable offense.
If you want to expunge your criminal history and you have a juvenile record, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss you eligibility.